CAF award contender Ayew hopes to emulate father

2011-12-21 14:30

CAF Footballer of the Year history will be created in Accra tomorrow if Marseille and Ghana midfielder Andre Ayew tops the poll.

It would complete the first father-and-son successes in the annual vote among Africa-based national coaches and technical directors as Abedi “Pele” Ayew triumphed from 1991 for three consecutive years.

Attack-conscious Ayew and Ivory Coast and Manchester City midfield “enforcer” Yaya Toure are the favourites for a title won last year by Cameroon striker Samuel Eto’o for a record fourth time.

Eto’o, from Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala, made a shortlist of five but was dropped today along with Senegal and Lille striker Moussa Sow, leaving Mali and Barcelona midfielder Seydou Keita as the third title contender.

Ayew, a 21-year-old and one of three sons of the African “Pele” to represent Ghana, won the BBC award, but that is no guarantee that he will be called to the State House banquet hall stage as winner of the top CAF individual award.

Only three of 11 BBC African Footballer of the Year award winners – Patrick Mboma of Cameroon, El Hadji Diouf of Senegal and Didier Drogba of Ivory Coast – have completed a same-year “double” and lifted the CAF trophy.

Ayew helped Marseille finish runners-up in Ligue 1, win the League Cup and Super Cup, and this week signed a contract extension that will keep him in the south of France for another four years.

He is also a first choice for the Black Stars of Ghana, joint favourites with Ivory Coast to win the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations which kicks off on January 21 in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.

Toure, a younger brother of Manchester City defender Kolo, ranks among the highest paid English Premier League performers after moving from Barcelona and scored several crucial goals for the Eastlands outfit this year.

Among them was the winner against bitter rivals Manchester United in an FA Cup semi-final and the sole goal against Stoke City in the final that ended a long City trophy drought.

Reigning World, European and Spanish champions Barcelona regularly use Keita as an impact player and he settled differences with national coach Alain Giresse to help Mali reach a third consecutive Cup of Nations.

Shock Cup of Nations qualifiers Botswana and Niger are National Team contenders and it will be hard separating Harouna Doula of Niger, Nabil Maaloul from African champions Esperance and Stanley Tshosane of Botswana for Coach of the Year.

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